The Bask-It haul.
How to… get free shit like a movie star
The gift lounge circuit is as integral to a well-rounded film festival as red carpets and popcorn. Find out who’s getting what where and from whom.
The lounge: Bask-It-Style
The hashtag: #BaskItStyle
On the scene: Four years
The locale: A two-floor, $4-million penthouse suite on the 52nd story of 33 Bay St. with sweeping city views of the lake and the core.
Photo: Todd Williamson/Invision for Bask-It-Style/AP Images
The talent: Much of the usual CanCon suspects. During our tour, Fefe Dobson emerged from wherever she’s been; we also spotted Mark Spicoluk (of Closet Monster fame) and Corner Gas star Gabrielle Miller. The crew will also be hand-delivering bags direct to the VIPs at parties and events throughout the fest.
Swag survey: Sully Wong provides big totes for the swag grab; Alimento, the new King West fine-food emporium, will be delivering dinner for two at the stars’ hotel suites; new fall books from the guys-gone-gals behind Shit Girls Say and The Friday Society, a new steampunk girl-power series with franchise potential (perhaps it should be into the hands of Selena Gomez for a future lead role); the new Loblaws launch of PC Black Label Umami Paste, a.k.a. the elusive fifth taste; vintage sunglasses like Ray-Bans from Queen West store Gafas Eyewear; an explosion of full-repair John Frieda products; Australia’s Wolf Blass 2009 Grey Label Shiraz Cabernet, so tasty you’re drunk by the end of your tour; Donna Koster’s 50-piece abstract interlocking artwork.
The Angelina Effect (a.k.a. charity effort): Partnerships with Fashion Cares celebrating 25 years of supporting the AIDS Committee of Toronto, and FUCK Cancer, whose t-shirt sales go towards funding research.
Overheard: “So, like, which movie star lives in this penthouse normally?”
The cost of giving (per person): $1,500
The lounge: Tastemakers
The hashtag: #Tastemakers
On the scene: Eight years
The locale: Hidden across several suites in the InterContinental Toronto Centre at 225 Front St. W.
The talent: The first to bring legit gifting to TIFF, Tastemakers has earned its star wattage over the years. While privacy is key here, past guests have included Woody Harrelson, Freida Pinto, Kat Dennings, David Cronenberg, Jennifer Aniston, Joshua Jackson, Christian Slater, Sigourney Weaver, Samuel L. Jackson, and way too many too list here.
Swag survey: Yorkdale is setting up shop here to push its new luxury image and expansion plans. Celebs will be gifted heavy-hitting treats from retailers within its shopping empire, including Tiffany & Co. bracelets (engraved with Yorkdale’s GPS coordinates), a Microsoft adjustable Arc Touch mouse (in honour of the tech brand’s first Canadian store opening there soon), an exclusive bracelet and tote set from new-to-Canada fashion giant Ann Taylor, and more. La Senza launches its new “Beyond Sexy” collection of bras ($42.50) and undergarments that, according to the lingerie-clad live model, gives “great cleavage without being uncomfortable.” There’s also a fragrance library/bar from Demeter, making its re-entry into Canada at Loblaws this fall with more than 70 scents ($15/bottle) such as Laundromat, Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter, champagne, espresso, dirt, cigar, rain, snow, grass—the scent selection is bizarre and unreal. Other treats include: new Bobble containers and jugs that last for 300 bottle-servings of water; Nicole Scherzinger-endorsed imPRESS Press-On Manicure; Viviscal Maximum Strength, a natural hair supplement loved by Reese Witherspoon and Liv Tyler; TIFF-branded cupcakes by Dundas West food studio Le Dolci; and John Allan’s, the men’s club inside The Bay, will offer shoe shines and hand massages.
The Angelina Effect: Yorkdale’s limited-edition Tiffany bracelets (valued at close to $400) fave raised $60,000 for Sick Kids; the mall will continue to donate for every bracelet gifted during the fest.
Overheard: “Hey, you don’t wear Spanx! I’ll be wearing them all festival.”—a shocked reporter to the La Senza model
The cost of giving: at least $1,000
The lounge: Made in Canada
The hashtag: #MadeinCanada
On the scene: Four years
The location: CBC Building at 205 Wellington St. W., in a pimped-out storage locker
The impresarios: George Stroumboulopoulos and his Tonight team
The talent: If you’re a guest between now and the end of TIFF, you’re hitting this lounge. Since Strombo has gone primetime this fall, it will only increase the already stellar star power that passes through his studio. No photographers are allowed inside, so the guest list is likewise under embargo. Previous visitors included Edward Norton, Olivia Wilde, Ewan McGregor, Seth Rogan, and Juliette Lewis.
Swag survey: This lounge is 100 per cent Canadian and not sponsored, meaning brands don’t have to pay to take part. That also means there’s tons on offer with over 50 brands, the largest of any lounge. New highlights this year: EQ3 provides the furniture from its just-opened Liberty Village outpost; Daneson whiskey-flavoured toothpicks; a Canada Goose kids collection; Stolen Riches shoe laces; Avril Loreti artsy mustache handkerchiefs and cityscape tea towels; Raine Maida CDs; JdJ jewels, which now has a boutique in the neighbouring Ritz; and maple sugar from Ninutik that George’s neighbour makes in his kitchen. And the swag goes on. There are also cedar trees and a water feature to bring the “Great Canadian Outdoors” inside.
The Angelina Effect: Shoemaster Ron White is hosting his popular charity shoe drive, encouraging celebrities to trade an old pair of signed heels in exchange for anything from White’s lookbook. They’re then put on display in Ron White stores and the rest is goodwill. Oliberté, another footwear brand, makes an appearance and spreads its mission to create more jobs in Africa. Strombo will also give away bags to audience members and online during the fest, so click here to find out how you can score.
Overheard: “It’s like a kid in a Canadian candy store.”
The cost of giving: If you got one of every item on offer, you’d easily clock in at $2,000
The lounge: It Lounge
The hashtag: #ItLounge
On the scene: Seven years
The location: NKPR offices at 312 Adelaide St. W., just north of the Lightbox
The impresarios: Natasha Koifman and her NKPR army
The talent: Past guests have included Edward Norton, Jennifer Garner, and Ryan Gosling (with his mama). Word has it that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt once made a special request to have their swag bags donated directly to charity.
Swag survey: The big buzz this year is the debut of The It Lounge Portrait Studio, where legendary fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier will land today to capture celebs that will make the pilgrimage to this established TIFF landmark. Other photographers who will take the weekend shift include Dustin Rabin (who’s photographed big names like Jay-Z and Paul McCartney) and Caitlin Cronenberg, a rising star from a certain film dynasty. Portrait Studio aside, guests will get: a chance to shop the RW&CO. pop-up boutique; select after-party accessories from lia sophia, a direct-selling line of jewellery; Tweezerman touch-ups on hands and brows; those SKYY vodka cocktails we love so much; a frozen yogurt bar from Yogurty’s. There’s also a lounge sponsored by Grain Farmers of Ontario and Great Lakes Biodiesel, which features a carpet made out of corn.
The Angelina Effect: Giving back seems to be the big theme here, and a big draw for the A-list. STiKs Gaming has launched a Battle to Build—in support of Artists for Peace and Justice in Haiti—wherein you can pay to play videogames with your favourite celebrity via live webcam. For every star that sits for a portrait, NKPR will also donate money to Kandy with a K, a Koifman-led boutique that raises money for 10 different charities through the sale of candy. For every new Facebook Like and Twitter follower of @natashankpr, Koifman will donate $1 to the aforementioned candy cause.
Overheard: “If I have another Gosling [SKYY cocktail], I’ll be going home with the next guy I see.”
The cost of giving: $600
OTHER HOUSES OF SWAG ON THE SCENE (THAT WE HAVEN’T VISITED YET)
The lounge: The Canadian Film Lounge
The locale: Fairmont Royal York Hotel, 100 Front St. W.
The dish: For the third year, the First Weekend Club, a non-profit dedicated to promoting great Canadian films, will host this intimate lounge out of Toronto’s home of old-school elegance. It’s a meeting point for filmmakers, industry insiders, and the talent that follows them everywhere. It’s also about promoting and hyping Canadian films playing at TIFF Festival.
Swag survey: Guests will be able to customize their own gift bags on this trip with over a dozen gifts: bespoke clothing and accessories for the urban male from GreenShag, Sappho organic makeup, Quebec-via-Paris Kusmi Tea, Cromwell and Cruthers shaving products, and more. The swag bag also features the couple’s vibrator We-Vibe 3—the “Cadillac of the sexual health market.” And to cure that sex hair, Fiorio Salon will man the Beauty Bar alongside Vasanti Cosmetics for red carpet everything.
The lounge: Premiere Celebrity Gift and Style Lounge
The locale: Ritz Carlton Hotel and Residences, 181 Wellington St. W.
The dish: Headed by B.A.D. PR, this weekend-only lounge made a name for itself last year when it reportedly gifted Madonna with over $10,000 worth of luxury goods. This year’s lounge will see celebrities being chartered to and from TIFF Festival on private jets courtesy of Bombardier and car service courtesy of Audi Downtown Toronto. The lounge is also the official gifting partner for the debut of the Friends of TIFF gala on Sept. 8, a charity initiative designed to support the TIFF organization so it can keep bringing us films and fun.
Swag survey: With over 30 vendors, celebs can expect lead sponsor Pandora jewellery to dish out custom bracelets and local designer Jessica Jensen to give out luxury handbags. There’s also staple lingerie from Pope Joans and beauty 911 from Lise Watier. We also hear designer pieces from Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci and Hugo Boss and gowns from Rent Frock Repeat.